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Do Students Need A TV Licence At University?

Zoe Kramer November 23, 2022

If you’re a first-year student, you’ve probably never had to sort out your own TV licence before. The rules of TV licences and how they work is confusing enough to begin with but, if you’re in uni halls, that adds a whole other layer to the conundrum. What exactly counts as a household? Who has to pay for licences and when? What if you’re only using streaming services? Here’s a rundown of everything you need to know to determine whether you need to pay or not.

First off, it’s important to know which methods of viewing require a TV licence. If you watch any live TV, including ITV, Channel 4, Dave, Sky One, or any other channels, this requires a licence. This also applies to live TV that is watched on streaming services, such as Virgin Media, Amazon Prime Video and Now TV. If you want to watch anything that is on BBC iPlayer, you’ll need a TV licence for that, too.

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See also: Five Things To Do When Moving Into a New University House

If any of these apply to you, the next step is to determine what category your living situation falls under in terms of a household.

When do students need a TV licence?

If you’re living in student halls and want to watch TV in a common area, you won’t need a licence for that, as it will already have been covered by your halls of residence. If you want to watch TV in your room, however, you will need one, and you’ll have to purchase it individually.

If you live in a house or flat, the amount you’ll have to pay depends on your tenancy agreement. If you live on your own, or if you share with residents that have a separate tenancy agreement from you, you will be responsible for paying the fee on your own. However, if you have a joint tenancy with your housemates, you’ll be responsible for paying the fee together. That means you can divide the cost between you.

How much is a TV licence?

While the price for a TV licence is £159 for a year, it will be less than that if you’re splitting the cost with others. You can pay it all at once or in installments every month or every third month. There isn’t a student discount for TV licences. However, if you live in your accommodation for less than twelve months, you can apply for a refund on the months you didn’t use.

See also: Should You Choose Student Accommodation or a House?

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Hello, my name is Zoe. I’m an American living abroad in Wales, and a graduate of Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism, Media, and English Literature. I’m a book nerd, DIY fashion enthusiast, recovering horse girl, and writer.